Looseleaf services are publications used by legal practitioners who specialise in a particular area of law. They are also known as commentaries or reporters and typically include:
- legislative extracts
- annotations to legislation
- recent case law
- commentary (an analysis of the law written in a similar style to a textbook).
The benefits of looseleaf services include:
- currency — regularly updated to reflect new developments
- insight — contains expert analysis of legal concepts and legislative provisions
- comprehensive coverage
- assemble important information relevant to a field of law within the one product
- include relevant legislation and key case law in full-text or extract format (or link to these primary sources).
Using looseleaf services
Check your university library for access to looseleaf services; many will be available online in key law databases. Online looseleaf services continue to be regularly updated so they are a good source to check for any changes to the law in a particular practice area. They are particularly useful for problem questions involving factual scenarios. For example, for explanations of the elements of criminal offences, an outline of the effects of specific contractual terms or discussion of the courts’ interpretation/application of complex sections of legislation.
To use online looseleaf services, browse the table of contents or index as a starting point, or search across these products using keywords. Watch the Westlaw Australia video on Find and annotate commentary publications [2:24] for an example of using these resources.